The Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions, organized by Calgary Arts Development and the Office of the Mayor, was sold-out for the fourth year in a row. On March 16, 2016, more than 675 Calgarians from all sectors gathered to recognize and celebrate the many ways that they champion the arts in our city.

The event, hosted by Dave Kelly, featured a conversation with Mayor Naheed Nenshi and a Q&A session with lunch attendees about what it takes to create and present art in our city as well as what it takes to be an arts champion. Before the lunch, more than 150 Calgary artists under age 21 entertained attendees as part of the TELUS Youth Arts Showcase, which included music ensembles, ballet and hip hop dancers, and visual arts and multimedia installations. Champion sponsor of the Lunch was Strategic Group.

This year’s recipients of the Cultural Leaders Legacy Artist Awards were announced through a video featuring interviews with award-winners and sponsors:

ATB Financial Healing Through the Arts Award Recipient: Clem Martini
Clem Martini is a healer, well-known as a playwright and author who tackles the dark subject matter of mental illness, trauma and marginalization with wit and compassion.

Calgary Catholic Immigration Society New Canadian Artist Award Recipient: Tayebe Joodaki
Tayebe Joodaki is a visual artist who moved from Iran to Calgary one year ago. She is excited to share her new chalk pastel technique with her new home of Calgary.

Colin Jackson and Arlene Strom Creative Placemaking Award Recipient: Swallow-a-Bicycle
Under the direction of founders Mark Hopkins and Charles Netto, Swallow-a-Bicycle has re-contextualized the way Calgarians engage in art by creating theatre experiences in non-theatre places since 2006.

Enbridge Emerging Artist Award Recipient: Anton de Groot
A technician and stage manager, Anton is becoming more recognized for his work as an emerging designer. His success is the result of years of committed practice, and an ongoing relationship with Calgary’s arts and innovation community.

MacLachlan Community Beacon Award Recipient: Vicki Adams Willis

Co-founder, current Founder in Residence and long-time former Artistic Director of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Vicki has been a major force in the Calgary dance community for nearly 50 years.

Sandstone City Builder Award Recipient: Quickdraw Animation
Through its ongoing work with marginalized groups, decades of innovative youth outreach, and the cultivation of a welcoming, inclusive community, Quickdraw has proved its commitment to enriching Calgary’s cultural landscape.

Doug and Lois Mitchell Outstanding Calgary Artist Award Recipient: Old Trout Puppet Workshop
The Old Trout Puppet Workshop is a true Calgary institution: wildly creative and totally original, there’s nothing else like them in this city, in the country and even worldwide.

Winners received a $5,000 cash prize, and Old Trout Puppet Workshop receives a residency at The Banff Centre as the winner of the Doug & Lois Mitchell Outstanding Calgary Artist Award.

Each Legacy Award is funded by a contribution from a local philanthropist or organization with matching money from Calgary 2012, and is to be awarded annually with winners determined by a jury of peers.

Thank you to Champion Sponsor Strategic Group, Youth Arts Showcase Sponsor TELUS and VIP Table Sponsor TD Bank Group.